Sunday, 6 March 2016

My New Monitors - Research & Pricing

No game footage this evening, we have been playing, but we've also been working hard on the house.  Well, since its now a fortnight since my surgery, I've been forced out into the cold by the wife to get on with some jobs, the first of which has been to clip the rear conifers, they were getting... well I'd like to say out of hand, but that's an understatement, you know when you don't notice something?... Well we'd not really noticed they'd expanded at the base by 6 feet in diameter.

Clipping this excess away on the drive-way side has allowed us to move the junk from below them, and now fit the new van along with the estate car onto the drive way, result!

Next, I've been told to decorate the kitchen, this is on hold awaiting some tools I need (mate you know which ones I'm on about, hehe).

I also have to finish the plastering in the middle room and get on with painting it, so it's all go.

But, last night we spent a little over £114 at Ikea, we bought a new stainless steel standing lamp, the Klaab model, for the middle room, I got some LED down-lighters, and stuck them under the kitchen cupboards, to the kitchen is now lit at night not by the combines 120watts of overhead lighting, but just 0.6watts of LED lighting, and it's almost as bright at the worktop level, where we need the light of an evening.

We also have a new solid metal hat & coat stand, and I have a lovely new pillow for my office chair, which I'm sat on right now.

However, all this aside is not the exciting thing about the evening, no, for this evening I've had the green light to pick new monitors for my office...

My requirements here have been dual screen for a long long time, and I generally play on my Dell monitor and play video on my phillips monitor, they're both 1050p (no, that is not a typo, they're not even full 1080p).

Now, both of these screens are going to be retired, one will be kept as a spare, the other sold on ebay for a bare minimum.

But, the question is where do I go?... Now, I still need a VGA connector on one of these new beasts, and I need at least two... The rest is up in the air, I have dial DVI-D on my graphics card, a HDMI and a display port output, so I have the world of monitors at my behest....

Wait, wait, why VGA you ask?... Well, because I have to repair broken machines from other people, and I have a vested interest in older PC hardware.  All of which require a VGA port as a bare minimum for me.

This VGA requirement is most definitely not for my main screen, so lets ignore that for now and discuss more about what I require for my main screen.

MOOORRRREEEEE SCREEN SPACE!... Yes, it's as simple as that, with virtual machines, development pages, scripts and other junk open on the main screen; even with the second screen; I need more space in that my main work space, so I want a resolution of 2560 x 1440.  I'd also like the screen to minimum eye strain, so Low blue light, and a high view angle (IPS) would be good.

How big do I want the screen?... Well, the current screens are both 23.5 inch.  And we're upgrading... So lets say 27" as a minimum, now I want two of them, so that's a combined length of 54".  And looking at my screen any larger is not going to fit.

Right, our first milestone, we've picked a size... So, what have we got... Hitting the "Gaming Monitor" reviews, I want anything with a response time of lower than 5ms... I would say I'd love 144hz or 1ms but, to be honest, we running an nVidia 770 GTX card, so 144hz refresh rates at such high resolutions we'll have available are going to be impossible.

Now, searching, I got several options, my notes...

Asus seemed to be a top running brand, as does Acer, Benq and Samsung...

Samsung however, all seemed to be more expensive and less able, so I dropped them out of the mix.  This is a shame as I have all Samsung electronics screens for my TV's in the house, and I'm happy with them, but I'm not going to be paying a premium for lower spec screens here.

I did also, at this time, take a good look and have notes on 24 inch screens, and came across the Asus VX24AH, a 2560x1440 resolution 5MS IPS screen.  At only £200 this was a bargain, and is still a strong contender for my secondary screen, however, it's only 24 inches... 

I then considered three of these, in portrait mode, that would rock, even with the bezels in the way, however, the stand was not adjustable, it only provided tilt, so three of them was not going to be possible without also buying into a complete mounting system, but these desks could't support that, so I'd also have to be fitting to the wall, and the wall has old Victorian era plaster (yes 150 year old plaster!) which is about ready to come off.

So, quit the 24 inches, and look at Asus 27 inches... Ooo, ooo... I got a heavy high contender for the main screen... The Asus MX27AQ, it has ultra low blue light, IPS, it's 100M:1 ratio, 300cd/m2, 5ms response, 2560x1440 resolution and it has display port and HDMI, so can be driven easily from my card without need of a splitter or display port hub.  It come in at a little under £400....  Via amazon....That is very expensive, but I want to buy something of quality and then a lower priced utility second screen... However, I notice it's sold through Amazon by Scan, so what's their direct price... £375... Already £25 cheaper... I could potentially go pick this screen up too, that'd be £4.95 delivery saved... That's 5 litres of diesel paid for, which is more than enough to cover a 4 hour round trip... But, for now, we'll assume delivery from Scan at £4.95 on top, so we're at a price of around £380.

Next a secondary, the Asus appeal now is the small bezel, and this is going to be side by side, so what else do they offer... Well, in the MX series, there's the MX279H, a screen with rave reviews, AH-IPS, 300 cd/m2, it has VGA and 2 x HDMI, so is okay for my bare minimum connectivity, it's only 1920 x 1080 resolution, but it is 100M:1 ration, 5ms response time and AH-IPS.  It's a cost of £229 though, to very much too much with the main monitor included.  Though they'd look identical.

With Scan this second screen is £10 more than with Amazon, and with their delivery it's £14.95 more, so Amazon is the source there.  Two different screens from two deliveries, not ideal.... But, we're after cost here.  However, my budget for this is around £500, and I'm at a standing of  £609, that's definitively over budget.

However, in the Asus range I also spotted the VC279H, it's a much lower fidelity screen, 80M:1 ratio, I doubt from my old screens I'd see any difference, but it's a cost to performance challenge now, then the resolution is the same 1920x1080, and 5Ms response, the connectivity however is a little better for my needs, VGA, DVI and HDMI.  Costs, this is £172, that's bringing the main screen and this as an option in at £552, I think £52 over budget I can talk my way out of.

The question is with this lower priced VC series, is, "how different" is different looking?... And it seems, not very...

From the images I've looked at (which we can see above) the main differences are the bezel, on the main screen will be silver, whilst black on the secondary, and then the stand is a hollow sun dial style on the primary and a solid plastic on the secondary.

I think however, this is the end of my searching, and I'm going to the wife with a cost of £552.

In my defense, my current right hand screen is a little under 15 years old, whilst the second screen is around 7 years old.  I got both of these for around £125 each, so I've made that investment last... At this ratio, I need to make these new screens last well into 2022, and I think they'll do that with ease, I certainly see my needing to rebuild the whole PC before I buy anything newer than these screens.

1 comment:

  1. Before anyone gets wondering, I'm not loaded, I'm not even going to be able to spend anywhere near £500 on monitors... But we have just finished buying a new vehicle for £1500 less than expected, so there is some cash for me to upgrade my very old small screens... In the interest of my profession of course....